Software companies adopting the Cloud Marketplaces as a go-to-market channel are seeing tremendous value from their sales and alliances teams working as one. But the relationship between these traditionally siloed teams is not always clear and has not always been harmonious.
Tackle teamed up with Sales and Alliances leaders from Nasuni to compile a few tips to help you galvanize these internal groups around common goals for team-oriented Marketplace success. You can also listen in to the full webinar right here.
Set the Tone for Team Spirit
No matter their size, successful organizations align around one mission. Your sales and alliances teams are no different and they need this “all-for-one” mindset to break down any barriers and eliminate fiefdoms when it comes to Marketplace deals. Ideally, leaders at the top will push early and often for alignment, and be the example of good alignment from the top down.
Collaborating involves not only focusing on the goals and needs of each department, but also on the overall business objectives: building a prospect pipeline, converting those prospects, and meeting customers where they are spending money. Buy-in from all parties is essential, and teams need to commit to good communication and transparency. Make sure everyone feels like they have a voice in the process and can freely voice any concerns.
Deploy Cloud Specialists
We’ve recently seen an emergence of cloud specialists in alliances teams. These specialists take the lead on understanding complex Cloud Provider programs and translating the details to enable their sales colleagues to quickly move on opportunities.
Given the many differences in language, incentive structures, programs, and rules of engagement across the three hyperscalers, committing a specialist to each Marketplace you work with produces the best results.
In addition to their translation responsibilities, cloud specialists also promote your company’s story among the Cloud Providers. They lay the groundwork for positive interactions when your sales team connects with theirs for existing or new deals.
Encourage Divisions of Labor
Think of the sales and alliances partnership like a relay race. One runner carries the baton for a set distance and then passes it along for the next runner to advance.
Teams should feel free to lean on each other while still looking to lighten the other’s load where possible. Even little gestures go a long way. As one example, when sales want their alliances colleagues to contact a Cloud Provider about an opportunity, they can draft the email for their colleague to send.
If your company is just starting to sell on Marketplace, go with one Cloud Provider at a time. Trying to enter two or all three at once invites chaos and puts immense pressure on the sales/alliances relationship. By starting with one, you can build that internal alignment while learning about the experience for future expansion.
Similarly, you can make life easier for everyone by building your initial listings as custom Private Offers. These transactions connect you with the customer directly and more closely mirror your natural sales motion. While you may someday add self-service click-to-buy listings, these types of purchases on Marketplace are practically nonexistent for enterprise software products.
When starting out, sales and alliances reps should gather as much intel as they can about payment terms and any special conditions that may trickle down to your company. You don’t want to learn the hard way that you locked into a buyer’s unclear custom purchasing or payment terms. If (and when) you do encounter potholes, the sales and alliances team can keep everyone calm and focused on the long-term vision.
Measure and Celebrate Success
Define Marketplace success with key performance indicators that matter equally to your sales and alliances groups. Consider metrics around the volume of prospects and deals in the pipeline, conversions, time to close, terms of service negotiations, and how well your team works with the Cloud Provider to reel in opportunities.
Regular check-ins will help your teams identify what they need to tweak and confirm what’s working well. When you have successes, be sure to share them. One hallmark across successful Marketplace programs is the celebration of new deals and public kudos for the reps behind them. High-profile praise drives interest through the rest of the organization, which is critical in the early days of your program.
For more information about how Tackle can make the Marketplace dream work with teamwork among your sales and alliances groups, speak to our Marketplace experts!